Introduction: Reuse Lightbulb Glass -Fishbowl

Picture of Reuse Lightbulb Glass -Fishbowl

This stunning DIY piece is a great way to get a second use out of your old glass lightbulbs. It's inexpensive, easy to make, and can be used as a centerpiece, an office decoration, or whatever else you can imagine.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

This project was inspired by a project given in beginners digital art and photoshop classes where you have to draw a fish in an unexpected place. (the iridescent scales require a lot of consideration to light angles.)

You will need:

An old lightbulb, (not LED)

White polymer clay

Polymer clay color of choice

Translucent polymer clay (optional)

fishing line or transparent jewelry cord

Hot glue or solder

sand, pebbles, or uncolored kitty litter


Colored Cord (Like Jewelry Hemp Cord)


Pliers/wire cutters

Wire (16 gauge or similar)

Water or epoxy resin (optional)

Step 2: Open the Bulb and Clean It

Picture of Open the Bulb and Clean It

WARNING: wear safety goggles and gloves during this procedure. You will be breaking glass, so make sure you're careful.

Using your pliers, pry off the soldered silver circle on the end of the bulb. When you have, chip away the black glass with the tip of your pliers or a screwdriver.This will be sharp, so be careful. When you're done, chip away the glass tube that goes down into the bulb, being careful not to crack the bulb itself. you might hear a popping sound as the inert gas inside escapes. Shake out the glass into the trash.

The insides of lightbulbs are coated in a chemical to 'frost' them, but it will rinse out of the bulb easily.

Step 3: Sculpt Fish Body

Picture of Sculpt Fish Body

Mix half white and half translucent clay into a teardrop shape.

Step 4: Add Color

Picture of Add Color

Mix your colored clay with some translucent clay and roll it into a paper thin sheet. "Tear" off little jagged pieces and smooth them onto the fish.

Step 5: Add Eyes and Fins

Picture of Add Eyes and Fins

Roll four oval fins from the white/translucent mix and roll a v-shaped tail. Attach them as shown above and smooth the connections with your
X-acto knife. when you're done, push your eyepin into the clay fish as shown.

Step 6: Rocks and Stringing.

Picture of Rocks and Stringing.

Tie your fishing line to your eyepin and put your fish into the bulb. add about 1/2 to 3/4 an inch of pebbles or sand.

Step 7: Put a Ring on It.

Picture of Put a Ring on It.

Make a loop out of your wire and either solder or glue it to the lightbulb. Attach the other end of the fishing line to the loop.

Step 8: Display

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Tie a piece of cord to the ring and hang wherever you want it. You can fill the bulb with water or epoxy resin, but I preferred the look with the bulb dry.


random_builder (author)2017-03-16

This is pretty cool! I think it would look better if you put water in it, though.

docman100 (author)2017-03-15

can you open this? It looks noice.

open it?

RecipeRemix (author)2017-03-15

This look so cool. I want to make one now.

Oliviablue11 (author)2017-03-14

that's so cool!

4DIYers (author)2017-03-14

Excellent idea!

Treasure Tabby (author)2017-03-13

Its a very nice concept but I would not recommend this for gold fish. Gold fish need lots of oxygen dissolved in water. You get that though an bubble tube, bubble stone, water plants and or filter. Best to have things like beta fish for this since they at least don't need to get their oxygen from the water. They get it from the surface of the water. :)

At first I also thought they put a real fish in it. My vegan-senses were tingling.
But if you give the process a once over, you see the fish is fake :)

I wouldn't recommend this for ANY real fish. Clay and plastic only. :)

mrsmerwin (author)2017-03-13

really cute

mach1950 (author)2017-03-13

Great idea!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm broke, I'm awkward, and I like nothing better than holing myself up in my workshop, (room) to make/restore/revamp whatever strikes ... More »
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